Patty Hall is perfectly prepared for the wrong problem. She is enamored with the space race, and knows the history of NASA by heart. She is faced with an ancient threat that has been targeting the Hall family for generations. Hampered by an overprotective mother, if Patty can’t figure it all out in time, she may be the next member in the Hall family cemetery plot.
It’s not hard enough to be a fifteen year old girl, and a social outcast. As she watches her friends mature and grow, she has to face the idea of never turning sixteen. Please consider joining Patty on her incredible adventure.
Will O’ the Wisp is the newest release from Craig S. Boyack. It involves a mildly handicapped girl facing a mysterious threat. The wisp has been killing off Patty Hall’s family for generations, and she’s next on the list. It is suitable for young adult readers.
Commentary by C. S. Boyack
Whenever I’ve followed a blog tour, there always seems to be one post about writing tips. This is always one of my favorite posts, because I think we can all learn something from one another.
With a story like Will O’ the Wisp, I really wanted to use a few suspense techniques. I keep a living document on my iPad that’s full of writing advice, tips, and tricks. When I find something new, I update the document. The suspense techniques have been languishing here for a long time, and this was the perfect story to play with them.
Suspense is all about the unknown and waiting until discomfort settles in. There are quite a few tricks to create this, and I used a few of them in this story.
Have someone ask a seemingly innocent question, but have the answer be something vague and cryptic. This perks me right up as a reader. Didn’t seem like that big a deal, why is Aunt Tilly avoiding the question? This makes me want to turn the page. Make sure some waiting is involved to get the reader salivating. Have the phone ring before the character can ask more questions. Distract and avoid. Change the conversation.
Tense moments work well too. If a guy in a hoodie and shades follows your heroine through the park, drag it out. Don’t tell the reader that he saw her drop her wallet and just wants to give it back. While your heroine is panicking, maybe she can come up with a light bulb moment to propel the plot forward. That sigh of relief can be followed immediately by an encounter with the real bad guy. In other words, she thanks the good Samaritan, shakes his hand, and watches him leave. She breathes a sigh of relief, turns and runs right into serial killer #1.
Make a character lie, but make sure the reader knows it’s a lie. This is not the place for immediate consequences. Drag the consequences out. It’s even sweeter if the other character knows it’s a lie, and doesn’t call it out. Maybe the other character has some nefarious reason not to reveal that she knows the truth.
Use distance to your advantage. Have your heroine sit next to serial killer #1 at the cafe. Have him pass the salt, and let them touch. He knows he’s serial killer #1, the reader knows, but she doesn’t.
Distance should be increased to isolate your character. The more distance to rescue, the more tension. Just your heroine and serial killer #1 all alone at abandoned castle.
Make your heroine sneak, even if it’s not completely necessary. Back at the cafe, serial killer #1 heads for the restroom. Your heroine could ask the waitress how to get to Carnegie Hall. Instead, she grabs SK #1’s cell phone and Googles it. You know, the same phone with pictures of his dismembered victims on it.
Throw in a few temptations too. Temptations are things your heroine wants. The new office stud muffin invites your heroine to Aspen for the weekend, his treat. She ought to torture herself over the decision. She wants this, but promised to watch Aunt Tilly’s cat. Aunt Tilly lives right next door to Serial Killer #1.
There are hundreds of ways to establish suspense, and I used a few of them in Will O’ the Wisp. I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out, but readers will be the ultimate judge. Please consider being one of them.
You can pick up Will O’ the Wisp on Amazon using your Kindle or a free reading app. Download it here:
North American version: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS
International version: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C
Follow Craig at the following locations:
Follow his blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com
Check out all his novels at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction. I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet. I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com